Business Flood & Earthquake Insurance

Does Your Arizona Insurance Cover Earthquakes?

No state has more evidence of the power of geological forces than Arizona. While the Grand Canyon shows the awesome ability of glacially slow geological forces of running water to carve deep crevasses, it has also faced the abrupt and unexpected affects of shifting tectonic plates and the trembling results of earthquakes. From the incredibly slow to the sudden, Arizona faces all types of natural geological wonders. Does your insurance policy cover these events?

What is Earthquake Insurance?

Earthquake insurance is a form of property insurance that pays the policyholder in the event of an earthquake that causes damage to the property. Most ordinary Arizona homeowners insurance policies do not cover earthquake loss.

Too many residents in earthquake-affected areas think they could rely on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds should their home or business be significantly damaged or destroyed by tremors. Affected homeowners may qualify for low-interest loans offered by FEMA through the Small Business Administration. But these loans are not free money; homeowners are obligated to pay them back, and they are entered in your personal net worth statement as a liability, offsetting an equal amount of assets.

With earthquake insurance, you are not obligated to repay the reimbursement you receive for covered damages.

What Does Arizona Earthquake Insurance Cover?

Earthquake insurance provides coverage if your home is damaged by an earthquake. Standard homeowner and renters policies will not cover earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance is a separate endorsement you must buy and add to your homeowner or renters policy.

An earthquake endorsement generally excludes damages or losses from floods and tidal waves – even when caused or compounded by an earthquake. However, if you experience a loss due to a landslide, settlement, mudflow, or the rising, sinking and contracting of earth, your endorsement may cover it if the damage resulted from an earthquake.

There are several options to consider when purchasing earthquake insurance from Arizona insurance providers, including:

  • Does the policy cover only your home? Are other structures, such as garages, also included?
  • Will your policy pay for the contents of your home and for additional living expenses if your home is badly damaged or destroyed?
  • Are there any exclusions or limitations to coverage?
  • What deductible must you pay before the insurance kicks in?
  • Deductibles for earthquake endorsements are often much higher than for your traditional homeowners insurance policy.

Homes that are located directly over or near a known fault line have the highest risk of damage, and policies for these homeowners often come with high premiums.

There are ways that these homeowners can reduce their costs and find lower quotes. Homes that are made of wood generally cost less to insure than those made of brick. This is because wood-constructed homes are more flexible and can better withstand the jarring motions caused by an earthquake. Homeowners can often receive lower quotes by retrofitting their homes to make them better able to withstand an earthquake. This can be done by securing the structure to the foundation and installing a sprinkler system in the home.

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Content above courtesy of Trusted Choice

TOP TEN FACTS every consumer needs to know about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

1. Everyone lives in a flood zone.

  • You do not need to live near water to be flooded.
  • Floods are caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, as well as broken water mains.

2. Flood damage is not covered by homeowners policies.

  • You can protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the NFIP.
  • You can insure your home with flood insurance up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for its contents.

3. You can buy flood insurance no matter your flood risk.

  • It does not matter whether your flood risk is high or low. Anyone in a community that participates in the NFIP can buy building and/or contents coverage, with very few exceptions. Some Costal Barrier System (CBRS) areas, Otherwise Protected Areas OPAs) and buildings principally below ground or entirely over water are not eligible for National Flood Insurance.
  • It is a good idea to buy even in lower risk areas because 25 to 30 percent of flood insurance claims come from low-to-moderate risk areas.

4. The low-cost Preferred Risk Policy is ideal for homes and businesses in low-to-moderate-risk areas.

  • Homeowners can insure buildings and contents for as little as $119 per year. Business owners can insure buildings and contents for as little as $550 per year.
  • Residential renters can insure contents for as little as $39 per year.

5. Flood insurance is affordable.

  • About 90 private insurance companies nationally offer affordable flood insurance backed by the federal government. Contact your local agent.
  • Policies are available to homeowners, condo owners, apartment owners, renters, and business owners alike.

6. Flood insurance is easy to get.

  • You can buy flood insurance from private insurance companies and independent insurance agents; call yours today!
  • You can purchase flood insurance with a credit card.

7. Contents coverage is separate, so renters can also insure their belongings.

  • Up to $100,000 contents coverage is available for homeowners and renters. 
  • Whether you rent or own your home or business, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage. It is not automatically included with the building coverage (except under the Preferred Risk Policy).

8. Up to a total of $1 million in flood insurance coverage is available for non-residential buildings and contents.

  • Up to $500,000 of coverage is available for non-residential buildings.
  • Up to $500,000 of coverage is available for the contents of non-residential buildings.

9. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect.

  • Plan ahead so you are not caught without insurance when a flood threatens your home or business.

10. Federal disaster assistance is not the answer.

  • Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster.
  • Flood insurance pays even if a disaster is not declared.

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Arizona Flood Fact Sheet

Content above courtesy of FEMA and NFIP

Resources for your benefit